Social mobilization of climate change: University students conserving energy through multiple pathways for peer engagement

TitleSocial mobilization of climate change: University students conserving energy through multiple pathways for peer engagement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSenbel, M, Ngo, V, Blair, E
AbstractThis research examines the leveraging of information, digital, and social media to increase peer interaction and participation in an energy conservation campaign. We analyzed a competition between 6,500 students living in 20 residences across six university campuses in British Columbia to reduce energy consumption from a baseline level. Using a mixed methods approach, we sought to determine the overall effectiveness of the competition in reducing short and medium-term energy reduction and sought to uncover the motives for participation. We found that students tended to join the competition because multiple pathways of participation were available to them. Participants were motivated by the actions and stories of their friends and did not pay attention to the actions or competition scores of strangers. Our findings suggest that employing entertainment engagement that enables multiple pathways for participation with mechanisms for knowing the behavior of peers may be effective in shifting long-term energy consumption.
URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494414000048#